From Connections: Hummingbirds in the Snow

. . . Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, . . . think about such things. (Phil. 4:8 (NIV)

By Dottie Phillips

Mommy served one of their favorite meals every Sabbath evening. This Friday it was Megan's choice: spaghetti and meatballs. But she couldn't even pretend to be hungry. She stared sadly at her plate.

"Megan's pouting," Tuffy teased.

"Am not. I have a stomachache. Do I have to eat, Mommy?"

It was Daddy that answered Megan. "If you don't feel hungry, why don't you just sit and keep us company? This is the best time for us to talk about our week and to plan for the new one. Why don't you start by telling us about yours, Megan."

Megan sighed, "Mine was terrible. First Timmy Bower moved away. Then I missed four words on my spelling test-I studied the wrong list. Now this!" she held up her empty ring finger.

"Megan," Mommy gasped, "what happened to your ring?" The whole family knew how much she treasured the gift from Grandma Spencer.

"Tammy Wilcox-she st-stole it." Sobs and words came all mixed together. "I-I just know she did."

"Why do you think Tammy would take your ring?" Daddy asked.

"Did you see her taking it off your finger?" Tuffy teased again.

"Because she wanted it!" Megan said, wiping her eyes. "She even asked me for it before recess. All I know is, after recess it was missing. Mrs. Brewster helped me look all over for it. It's just gone. Tammy said I'm selfish and she hopes I never see it again. Please call her mother and make her give it back-please, Mommy!"

Carrie had been listening quietly. Now she said, "The Wilcox girls are snippy at times, but I never heard of them taking anything. What if you just lost it?"

"Carrie has a good point," Daddy agreed. "It would be a bad thing to accuse Tammy. Let's just keep looking for the ring. If we don't find it by the middle of next week, we'll talk to your teacher again. Now let's try to have a pleasant Sabbath together."

"But I don't know how to feel happy when I'm really sad." She held back another sob.

Daddy smiled. "I understand that, and I know God does, too. He loves you, Megan, so He tells you something that can help. It's here in the book of Philippians, chapter four, verse eight." Daddy opened his bible and read, "'Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is praiseworthy-think on these things.'"

Mommy nodded her approval, "Whatever is true-" she repeated. "We need to remember that we don't really know what happened to your ring."

"Time to think of some of the lovely things, too," Daddy added. "Carrie brought home a fine video from her science class. It's all about hummingbirds. God gave them some wonderful features. Why, did you know that they are the smallest birds you'll see? And they live by sucking nectar from flowers? That's why we see them among our flowers in the summertime. Let's finish our dinner and go watch the video together."

"Are there hummingbirds in the snow?" Tuffy asked through a grin, watching Megan as he did so. Mommy's look told him he had teased enough. In a more serious voice he said, "There's so much snow already, we probably won't even be able to go to church tomorrow."

Megan kept wondering "How can you have hummingbirds in the snow?" She fell asleep halfway through the video, still wondering.

The next morning, Megan awoke early. Tuffy had been right-they were snowed in. Huge snowflakes were still falling outside the patio doors. "I won't think bad thoughts, today," she said, remembering the conversation at dinner. "I'll try very hard to think only of lovely things. I'll go look for hummingbirds in the flower garden," though she knew the tiny birds had already gone to a warm place for the winter. "I'll go look anyway," she whispered.

Megan pulled on her snow suit, boots and mittens. Suddenly she felt something hard in the thumb of her right mitten. "My ring!" she cried. "My ring!" She shook her mitten and the tiny ring tumbled out onto the kitchen table. She left it there for Mommy to see. Then she bounded out the door into the fresh snow.

When Tuffy walked into the kitchen, he spotted Megan's ring. He stood and watched his sister rolling around happily in the snow. Then he opened the patio door to call a greeting. "Hey, Megan, I see you found your ring."

"That's not all I found, Tuff. Look, hummingbirds! Hummingbirds in the snow." Sure enough, all about the yard she had made hummingbirds. Her arms had beaten their fast little wings into each picture. The two of them stood laughing at their own joke.

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